The Beatles’ diary -- May 1969

May 1969

Friday, 2nd May

Recording session at EMI Studios No. 3 (19:00–03:40) during which they recorded Something.

There was also a recording session for the TV show ‘How Late It Is’ at the Lime Grove Studios. The programme was broadcast live (BBC1) and featured an interview with John Lennon.

Sunday, 4th May

Recording session for the TV show ‘Will The Real Mr. Sellers…’ at the Les Ambassadeurs. This show was broadcast on 8th December (BBC1) and featured interviews with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

John bought his 18th-century Georgian mansion, Tittenhurst Park, for a hundred and fifty grand. It had seventy-two acres of parkland, a farm, two cottages, an outhouse and a lodge at the front gate.

Monday, 5th May

‘Get Back’ single – front cover ReleasedUSA single. Get Back Peak position: Billboard – #1; Cashbox – #1; Record World – #1

Recording session at Olympic Sound Studios (19:30–04:00) during which they recorded Something.

Tuesday, 6th May

Recording session at Olympic Sound Studios (15:00–04:00) during which they recorded You Never Give Me Your Money.

The US Embassy in London withdrew John’s standing visa, citing his 1968 drug conviction.

Wednesday, 7th May

John, Paul and Klein met with the head of EMI to ‘discuss’ their royalties agreement.

Thursday, 8th May

Recording session for the radio show ‘Scene And Heard’ at the Apple Corps This show was transmitted on 11th May (BBC Radio 1) and featured an interview with John Lennon.

Allen Klein sacked Alistair Taylor, who recalled: “Within two weeks of Klein arriving I was sacked. It was a hell of a blow. They told me a couple of days before I went on holiday. There were sixteen names on the list, and I was at number one.”

Friday, 9th May

George released his solo album ‘Electronic Sound’, and John released his solo album ‘Unfinished Music No.2 – Life With The Lions’. Both of them were pretty dismal.

Monday, 12th May

Paul finally signed the ABKCO deal for 20%, but not of the whole. “I said, ‘It can’t be on everything, we’ve already got the EMI contract – and he can’t just have 20 per cent of that.’ They said, ‘Okay, just on any increase that he gets.’ In other words, if he goes to Capitol and negotiates a new deal, then he can have 20 per cent on the difference between the old deal and the new deal. I wasn’t keen to have him, but I thought that was fair.” Paul eventually caught Klein out on this deal, when he ‘did’ bank 20 per cent of the whole.

Thursday, 15th May

Recording session for the radio show ‘Light And Local’ This show was transmitted on 16th May (BBC Radio Merseyside) and featured an interview with Paul McCartney.

Friday, 16th May

Paul announced that Linda was pregnant and went off on a long holiday to prepare for the August birth. The first place they visited was Corfu.

Monday, 19th May

This was the day when the Beatles officially lost control of Northern Songs. Six new members were promoted to the board – four of them represented ATV, one represented the brokers, and one was kept for The Beatles. John noted sarcastically: “It was nice of them to give us one.”

Saturday, 24th May

John and Yoko held a press conference in London, before jetting off to the Bahamas.

Monday, 26th May

John and Yoko set up shop in room 1742 of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal. This proved to be the final round of bed-events, which was just as well, because the press were becoming increasingly bolshy by now and started taking the piss out of their politics.

Wednesday, 28th May

Glyn Johns presented his first attempt at the ‘Get Back’ LP to the Beatles.

Friday, 30th May

‘The Ballad Of John And Yoko’ single – front cover ReleasedUK single. The Ballad Of John And Yoko Peak position: Melody Maker – #1; NME – #1; Record Retailer – #1 is not affiliated with or approved by The Beatles, Apple, MPL, EMI or Capitol Records.
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